Mainland tourists are often ridiculed by the media for their frenzied shopping as they snap up everything from toilet seats to rice cookers, from drugs to cosmetics when they travel.
They are usually depicted as being rude, loud, pushy and unruly.
But if you ask local salespeople, they may tell you that, overall, Hong Kong shoppers are worse.
Some go as far as to say Hongkongers are the worst customers they encounter.
“I won’t call mainland shoppers polite, but Hongkongers are not a lot better,” one furniture and household goods vendor said.
“Cashed-up customers from across the border can be arrogant, but at least they are willing to pay for quality. By comparison, many locals want the best but are quite money-pinching.”
The store specializes in imported products from Japan.
“I have lots of retailer friends in Japan. They complained to me that customers from Hong Kong are the most difficult to serve. Not only are they overly fussy about small details, they also bargain a lot,” he said.
Another sales worker said: “Some Hongkongers are just unbelievable. There was a woman who insisted the color of a certain part of a cushion was off, but no one in our shop could tell the difference.”
The owner of a small gem stone store, surnamed Law, made similar remarks.
“Local customers buy only one or two pieces each time, and they are tight with money. They like to point out the problems with my products and then push for a discount,” Law said.
“Mainland customers buy a lot each time. They have the money, but they don’t have much time in Hong Kong. When they see things they like, they make up their mind very quickly.
“One big customers can clean out my shop.”
There are bad Chinese tourists, but the majority of them are still very decent customers to most retailers in our city.
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